India’s unique and divine heritage, culture, and tradition can be fully experienced by staying in the magnificent palace hotels, which were historic royal palaces and now have turned into splendid luxurious hotels and museums. Earlier, when commercialization began in India, many Havelis, royal forts, and holiday homes of the royals all around the country were turned into hotels, resorts, and museums. As time moved forward in the direction of development and luxury, all these accommodations gained popularity. Slowly and gradually, all the best palaces in India became some of the best places to stay with luxury for all the history buffs.
1. Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the best palaces turned into heritage hotels in India and considered the last grand palaces in India. It is a marvelous site built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of the Rathore Dynasty. One of the youngest palaces of India is a sight to behold due to its magnificent architecture, which gives the visitors a truly royal experience. The palace is located just four kilometers from the Jodhpur Airport and sprawls over an area of 26 acres.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is also known as the crown for Jodhpur city and has interesting stories hidden in the premises that will surely entice every history lover. It is a leading hotel that serves the ultimate luxurious experience with all its services. A big section of this royal palace has also been converted into a museum that is open for tourists and guests. At the same time, the stay experience at Umaid Bhawan is once in a lifetime experience that will treat you with redefined luxury and royalty.
2. Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur
Hotel Rajmahal palace is one of the best forts turned into a hotel in Rajasthan. It is located 170 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Kota highway, and this royal fort offers its visitors and guests a truly magical experience. This fairy tale destination is situated near the banks of river Banas, with the stunning Aravali Hills all around it. The great Rajmahal Palace was built by Raj Singh Sisodia in 1798 AD, Maharana Pratap’s great-grandson.
With a blooming history of 350 years, the palace turned hotel offers all the modern luxurious experiences and conveniences in the authentic Rajasthani style accustomed to a hotel. All the visitors can enjoy great scenic beauty and grandeur all around the palace with many activities like bird watching, boat safaris, and fishing. Rajmahal Place is ideal for staying if your guests are traveling from Ranthambore to Udaipur or Swai Madhopur.
3. FernHills Palace, Ooty
One of the most famous summer palaces of the Mysore Maharajas, built-in 1844 by Capt. F. Cotton is one of the mesmerizing palaces that has now been turned into a hotel and museum. With a radiating history of romance and chivalry, Fernhills Palace embraces a still vibrant and alive legacy.
The Welcome Heritage Ferrnhills Royale Palace sprawls over 50 acres with beautiful gardens, stunning vistas, lush green valleys, tea gardens, dense forests, and much more natural delights. The palace turned hotel boasts gorgeous and luxurious stay rooms with regal suites, bedrooms, spacious baths with jacuzzi, and a commendable multi-cuisine dining area, which will surely give you all royal vibes and luxury in one go.
4. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad
Taj Falaknuma Palace is one of the best palaces in India. Located in the Indian state of Telangana, this palace probably brings a Venetian touch of royalty to Hyderabad. The palace has a marvelous architecture with marble staircases, Japanese gardens, crystal chandeliers, roman pillars, and mesmerizing interior and exterior décor, which add to the beautification of Falaknuma.
The hotel is located in an area of 32 acres and is amongst the top tourist places in Hyderabad. In 1897 it was purchased by Nizam VI, and it served as a royal guest house for him. Built by an Italian architect, Falaknuma palace, which we now know as a great royal hotel and museum, was often referred to as the “mirror of the Sky” in the 19th century. The exquisite beauty of the palace represents the glamour and royalty of the Nizam era.
5. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
The stunning Rambagh Palace of Jaipur is the former residence of Maharaja of Jaipur, whose family used it as a hunting lodge during that time. The palace was converted into a luxury hotel in 1957 when the royal family was not able to manage the palace, and today it is partially owned and managed by the Taj Group.
Listed amongst the best heritage hotels in India, Rambagh Palace is also popularly called the jewel of Jaipur. With lush green gardens, pools, and stunning views all around, this palace is one of the best places you could ever see or stay in. If you are interested in seeing the major attractions of Rajasthan, then a visit or stay in the luxurious Rambagh palace is a must. Here you can enjoy the wealthy experiences which resound with memories and indulgences of Rambagh Palace.
6. Balsamand Lake Palace, Jodhpur
Bal Samand Lake Palace is a location that offers a world away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Located only 8 kilometers away from the city center of Jodhpur, Bal Samand is a beautiful palace that has now turned into a hotel and museum for the public. It was built by Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur in the 17th century at the very zenith of the Rathore Rule under the Mughal Empire. The palace is sprawling over an area of 60 acres with beautiful trees of Orchards of pomegranate and lime with landscaped gardens.
The palace is located near the lake and has plenty of suite rooms, and only the Maharani Suite offers lake views from the room. Every room will give you a relishing touch of luxury and traditions in the authentic jodhpur style. The gracious and sparkling interiors of the Balsamand Lake Palace are perfectly paired up with the splendid views of the beautiful lake and the lush green gardens. Whether you are on a trip to experience the real Jodhpur or some royalty, this palace is a promising place to offer you both.
7. Samode Palace, Jaipur
Samode Palace is one of the best places to host royalty, artists, travelers, celebrities, and discerning travelers. This beautiful palace is a splendid example of the regal Indo-Saracenic architecture, which offers a combined style of Indian and Mughals. This 475 years old palace is amongst the best palaces turned into hotels and museums, which provides contemporary luxury for all its guests.
During your stay here, you will awaken up with the accompaniment of the folk musicians, get into the ancient murals and history of the uneven wall, or simply sink into the lavish bedroom with grandeur décor inside. With the combined architectural styles of the Rajputs and Mughals, the Samode Palace offers stunning views of the Aravalli Hills. This palace turned hotel offers a comfortable and luxurious stay with its own elegantly designed rooms. From the infinity pool to flowing curtains to the painted lounges, Samode Palace redefines the word comfort when it comes to hospitality.
8. Phool Mahal Palace, Kishangarh
Rajasthan is full of stunning palaces and forts which showcase royalty and luxury on the next level. Another great palace located in the central region of Rajasthan named Phool Mahal Palace is one of the best heritage hotels in Kishangarh. The palace was found in the 19th century and is situated by the side of Lake Gundalao. Phool Mahal Palace is the right example of the glorious past of Rajasthan and its rich architecture, which is paired up with the best world-class comfort and luxury for the guests.
All the units for the guests are well structured and have a unique and traditional décor. The multi-cuisine food served at the dining hall is also relishing. When you combine it all, you will find Phool Mahal Palace one of the most peaceful stay away from the city chaos with the ultimate luxury on your table. King Kishangarh maharaja constructed the palace in 1870, which has now been converted into a luxury boutique hotel for tourists.
9. Laxmi Niwas Palace, Bikaner
Laxmi Niwas Palace was once closed off from the world and was only used to host the most privileged people in society. But today, it is a luxury hotel that invites guests to experience the lifestyle and opulence of the Bikaner Maharajas. From hand-painted paintings to gold-plated paintings, all these elements add to the beautiful décor of the Laxmi Niwas Palace. With such splendid architecture, this hotel is a must place to stay in order to relish the royal touch.
While the palace itself is far away from the city, it offers a huge lush green garden and various historical elements associated with its architecture and Maharajas, which will be interesting to read and learn about. The luxury fort turned hotel is dotted with hand-painted friezes and gold-laden walls, which was inspired by Lutyens and Baker’s architectural style. And if we look at the fact of experiencing exclusion, then Laxmi Niwas makes itself a place for it.
10. Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur
Located amidst the beautiful Aravalli Hills of Udaipur, RAAS Devigarh is a century-old palace that holds a commanding position in the city. The fort turned into a hotel that invites visitors to experience heritage and luxurious stay at the property, which is amongst the five premium star hotels in Rajasthan. Devi Garh is much more than a luxurious place to stay because it is a testament to the beauty and charm of Rajputana, which shines even today with this palace.
The palace was restored in 1999 and was converted into an all-suite luxury hotel. With the best modern and minimalist interior and exterior décor, the ancient and ornate architecture of Devi Garh is impeccable. Devi Garh Palace offers a unique and satiated blend of old and new and promises its guests a wide range of unrivaled experiences, which lie in the store of Devigarh.
11. Lalitha Mahal Palace, Mysore
Located on a low hill just outside the royal city of Mysore, you will find Lalitha Mahal Palace. Whites are standing shimmering palaces with double-columned and domed set architecture dotted with landscaped terraced and lush-green gardens. The Maharaja of Mysore built the palace to host all the important guests, the Viceroy of India. Presently, the Lalitha Mahal is one of the best palaces turned into hotels and museums.
This palace hotel offers its guests a princely life in a real maharaja palace. With panoramic views of Chamundi Hill all around, this place is just congruent to a fairytale-like setting. The architecture is also on the next level, with two-story composition and a projecting porch on the ground floor. You will be enticed with each element that is fitted in the Lalitha Mahal Palace of Mysore. If you are visiting Mysore and want to experience royalty, Lalitha Mahal is one of the best opulent luxury hotels, which can offer you the utmost luxury and authentic royalty vibes.
12. Ahilya Fort, Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
The luxury hotel is located atop the massive sandstone walls of the Maheswar Fort. From the hotel’s terrace, you can look down on the Indian life, which is portrayed out on the banks of the holy Narmada River, which is a mini Varanasi looked upon by the majority of the pilgrims who come to pray to god Shiva. The rooms are scattered with 18th-century décor and half-timbered buildings with shade courtyards.
The location is full of mesmerizing nooks to hide away with a book like a lovely large pool, lush-green vegetable garden, and art museum. Ahilya Fort hotel offers its guests the most luxurious stay with its excellent hospitality services that can surely impress any visitor. This heritage property is currently under the care and management of Prince Shivaji Rao Holkar, who is the son of the last ruler of Indore.
13. Thanjavur Palace, Tamil Nadu
Thanjavur is a district in Tamil Nadu, which is highly famous for its worldwide famous temples. But within the great temples, there is a stunningly beautiful Thanjavur Palace which was built in the 1530s by the Nayaka Kings. They lost this palace to the last king Shivaji of Thanjavur, who died, and the palace was under British rule. The palace was in ruins for many years until the tourism department started the restoration work and turned it into a beautiful museum and gallery.
The Royal Palace turned into a museum is a primary hotspot for tourism in Tamil Nadu. The museum includes Thanjavur paintings, hand-made statues from Pallava, Chola, Pandiya, and Nayaka periods. Thanjavur palace has many dedicated sections and galleries, and each one of them is worth every moment you are going to spend here.
14. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
Taj Lake Palace is one of the most majestic forts turned into a hotel in Rajasthan. Located in the middle of Lake Pichola and was built in 1746. The hotel offers amazing luxurious services with a touch of royalty in everything you will experience here. The palace offers mesmerizing views of the city Palace, Machala Magra Hills, Aravalli, and Jag Mandir.
All the rooms of Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, come with butler service. In order to relish a truly local experience, the hotel offers guided heritage walks, cultural shows, and astrology sessions. The rooms of this beautiful heritage hotel boast authentic furniture and décor with silk fabric covering, which gives a pure royal feeling to your stay. The hotel is located just 1 km from the city center and is 4 km away from the Udaipur Railway Station.
15. Rawla Narlai, Rajasthan
Rawla Narlai is a meticulously restored royal retreat and is amongst the top and best-loved heritage hotels in Rajasthan. A rambling country house with a beautifully maintained ambiance that oozes romance and love and makes it an ideal place for a romantic getaway. There are 32 rooms set around the whole area, which are surrounded by bright flowers. A magnificent pool with a hidden walled garden tops it all.
Every room of this luxurious heritage stay is different and has its own kind of surprises for the guests. The fort was earlier owned by the members of the Jodhpur royal family and has now turned into a stylish modern heritage boutique hotel with all its original character and structure retained as same. In order to experience and relish the lavishness of royalty and splendor of Rajasthan, then head on an enchanting journey and stay at Rawla Narlai.
With that said, India has always been a land of several kingdoms, and you will find a plethora of palaces scattered throughout the country. While some are still being managed by the ASI and private companies, and few are still privately managed by the existing royal families. It is clear that India is no short of heritage and luxury options when it comes to royal stay. So indulge in the lavish lifestyles of our fallen kingdoms by staying in these stunningly beautiful lavish forts and palaces, which are now turned into opulent palace hotels for the guests.